Since the dawn of time, it has been widely accepted that the circle of life for a woman goes something like this: woman is born, woman grows up and reaches puberty, woman finds man, woman gets married, woman has kids, woman looks after house, husband and kids, the end.
In today’s world, this is still quite similar and tends to follow this order: woman is born, woman grows up and reaches puberty, woman finds man, woman gets married, woman has kids, woman looks after house, husband and kids while also working a 9-5 job, burns out, the end.
Firstly, how do we as women do everything? But also, why is this widely accepted and why is this the ‘norm’? Albert Einstein once said, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is what causes madness, and he’s right. The world around us is ever changing, ever evolving and yet we keep doing the same things that society expects of us and then complain when life gets harder and harder.
But what happens when you don’t follow the ‘norm’? But what if, as a woman, I don’t want the ‘normal life’?
Going Against the Norm
The inspiration for this blog post came about as friends from back home have began to get engaged and have children, and I have completely lost count of the number of engagements I have seen on my Facebook feed this year.
I’ve been chatting about it with friends in London more and more, and we’re all getting a little freaked out that it’s friends from school and friends from home that are all starting to get engaged, talk weddings and even talk babies. Does this mean those of us in London and around the world are getting left behind and missing out? Should we be getting engaged too?
It’s a tricky situation living somewhere like London where everyone is 1. Broke and 2. Nowhere near the stage of putting a ring on their finger, yet it’s what everyone the same age is doing back in the towns where we come from.
The pace of life is a lot different in London vs a small town back in Ireland, but yet it has made a lot of us start to think about those life stages a lot earlier than we expected as rings keep popping up on my Facebook feed.
However, the more and more I think about it and talk about it with friends in London, the more I don’t want a big white wedding, and I couldn’t think of anything worse for myself than getting pregnant in London at 25 years of age.
Let’s Talk Weddings and Babies
I published a podcast episode quite recently about getting married, having kids and moving around the world where I go very in depth about my own thoughts and feelings towards the subject, which you can listen to here: 28. Let’s Talk Marriage, Babies and Moving to Australia.
I went to my first real wedding this year. I say ‘real’ as it wasn’t a family member getting married, I was over the age of 18 and I was attending with my boyfriend. So, I would call it my first ever ‘grown up’ wedding.
We have a few more weddings coming up next year and the first of my own friends is getting married which is probably going to be a very emotional occasion, but the more wedding talk I hear – especially when it comes to prices – the more it puts me off having the ‘Big Day’.
I’m slowly edging closer and closer to the prospect of eloping, getting married abroad and with maximum 20 guests. The idea of having the closest, closest people there with me on that day is so much more appealing than inviting people that I don’t speak to or haven’t seen in 10+ years.
For me, a close-knit, intimate day in the Italian mountains would be simply stunning and something I would enjoy a lot more. Maybe with a backdrop of Lake Como.
But also, when I tell you I change my mind like nobody’s business, I could completely 180 on what I’m saying right now and either get married in Vegas, or opt for a 300-people shindig. So who knows?
For the babies part, you can listen to the podcast to find out what I have to say on that subject.
Is the Girlboss Still Girlboss-ing?
You’ll all remember back when I started this blog that I was in my Girlboss era. I was working, I was thriving, I was earning that dollar and trying to better myself in any way possible.
I started my Girlboss Monday interview series, read every self-help book I could find and idolised Sophia Amoruso (founder of Nasty Gal). Basically, I wanted to be a CEO by 25 years of age. Think Blair Waldorf, but on steroids.
Fast forward to now when I’m actually 25 years of age and this could’t be further from where I’m at right now. I’m all for girl bosses being girlbosses, but I’m so content with where I’m at right now.
I’ve learnt in the past few years and past few jobs that if I’m not happy with what I’m doing, there’s no point in doing it. No matter if it pays more, there’s more progression, and there’s more perks.
Work-life balance is incredibly important to me since the pandemic, and I’m finally back at a job that I love doing and pinch myself that I’m actually doing it. I’m enjoying every moment and aspect of it, and I’m not chasing promotions, I’m not chasing pay-rises, I’m just enjoying where I am right now and going with it.
There’s nothing wrong with being content, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. You don’t need to be grasping for promotions, looking for the next big thing or stepping over anyone to get to the next level. If you enjoy where you are, do a good job and love what you do, what more can you ask for?
Being Happy is the End Goal
Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of goals that I want to achieve and have a vision of what my ideal life looks like and whilst it’s not what I’m doing right now or living in London, I know that in time it will happen and I just have to slowly work my way towards that point in my life.
I used to always be someone that was wishing my life away, always looking forward to the next big change, the next job, the next place to live, the next milestone while not actually living in the present.
But I’ve learnt recently that I will only end up missing my life if I keep living this way because life moves so, so fast and you blink and it’s already a year later.
So enjoy the moment you’re in, enjoy your job, enjoy the life you have before things change and you’ve missed being in the moment.
So while I may no longer be Blair Waldorf-ing (I simply don’t have the time), I’m trying to get things back on track with what I enjoy doing in my spare time – things like creating content, writing, reading and working towards my next big goal.
I have now been living in London again for a full year and can’t believe how fast time has passed. This has given me a little kick up the ass recently because like I said above, you blink and there goes a year.
A lot can happen in a year, and a lot can happen in the next year. So while I’m not out there Girlboss-ing it, I’ll say that I’m Girl-getting it. Not bossing it, just getting it. Working hard, but not burning myself out.
You get me?
Anyway, live slower and appreciate what you have and where you are. That’s what I will leave you with today.